We drink way too much. Like waaaay too much.
We love cocktails, and we’re spoilt for choice here in Birmingham. Between new bars opening up to the sheer delight of cocktail enthusiasts, and our old favourites celebrating landmark birthdays, the independent cocktail scene in Birmingham is very, very strong. And very, very tasty. With so much choice (not that we’re complaining, variety is, after all, the spice of life), often it is a struggle to know just where to go to enjoy your next tipple.
Thankfully we’ve managed to solve your cocktail-quaffing dilemma with a carefully curated list of the best cocktail bars in the city (we had to undergo very extensive research in order to complete this guide, but we did it all for you). From high-end, table service cocktails to flaming concoctions served in quirky vessels, Birmingham is definitely the place to be should you be looking for your cocktail fix.
Introducing our tipple-topping guide to Birmingham’s Best Independent Cocktail Bars.
This laid-back, neighbourhood bar in The Custard Factory has the feel of sitting in your best mate’s kitchen thanks to the carefully designed bar, resembling a kitchen island and at the perfect height for enjoying a delicious drink without *that* awkward shuffle to seat yourself precariously on a tiny bar stool. Comfort is key here, and the friendly, welcoming atmosphere created by the lovely team only adds to the overall wonderful experience you’re sure to have here. It also helps that the drinks are amazing, but if you find a favourite then be warned that it won’t stick around forever – nothing is sacred here. So you’d better go drink your fill while you can, and then discover a brand new favourite to enjoy after that. Delicious small and large plates add to the enjoyment and make this the perfect place to settle in for the night, no need to go anywhere else. Great vibes, delicious drinks, tasty food and wonderful company – what more could you want?
IB App Deal: An exclusive IB cocktail for just £8 (changes monthly – only available to IB App Members).
40 St. Paul’s
Winners of the 2019 World Gin Bar Of The Year (it’s official), 40 St. Paul’s make some darn good cocktails. Darn good, we say! There are over 140 different gins at 40 St Paul’s which are shaken and stirred to create beautiful cocktails. The small, table-service bar has an ‘exclusive’ factor to it (booking is essential) and is one of Birmingham’s brightest hidden gems. Attend, drink gin and be merry.
IB Deal: 2 Cocktails For £15 On Selected Cocktails
Whilst Strichley is well-known for the fantastic array of craft beer bars that have made their home there, it also has a watering hole that’s for the cocktail connoisseurs out there. Couch is your friendly, neighbourhood cocktail bar, available for all of your cocktail-sipping, bar-tender-chatting, friendly-face-seeing needs. They have an incredibly talented team who have made their mark on Birmingham’s cocktail scene in a big way. They specialise in timeless concept menus and every single one of their insanely delicious cocktails will simultaneously satisfy your insatiable cocktail cravings and leave you wanting more and MORE!
This JQ taco bar is a little foodie hot spot, serving up ridiculously tasty tacos and small plates. But they also serve the best accompaniment to their Mexican inspired food – Margaritas. Made with amazing Mezcals, their Margaritas and frozen Margaritas (like the frozen blood orange Margarita, pictured) are slurp-tastic. The most refreshing (and boozy) drink to sip on a hot summer day (or just any day really), we dare you not to drink three in one session and then tipsily request more tacos. It’s the right thing to do.
On top of this, they also have an upstairs bar serving 10 delicious Mexican inspired cocktails for even more cocktail sipping fun. Serving late into the night (or the early hours of the morning, to be precise) you can keep the fiesta going all night long!
IB Deal: A FREE Margarita Or Agua Fresca When You Spend £15 Or More (Sunday – Thursday)
Peruvian restaurant Chakana serve up some of the tastiest dishes in the city, but they also have a dedicated bar area with an excellent cocktail menu. Peru is the home of the Pisco Sour, so naturally their Pisco game is strong. Their bar features the UK’s largest Peruvian Pisco range, as well as an extensive array of unique liqueurs and spirits. Their cocktail menu focuses on Peruvian and South American flavours and spirits (but they are more than happy to create classics and bespoke cocktails to your taste too). They also serve the Chilcano – a long and refreshing Peruvian classic (Pisco, Lime, Angostura Bitters, Ginger Ale, Blood Orange Liqueur) which is actually more popular than the Pisco Sour in Peru.
IB App Deal: 10% off the bill (excluding Friday and Saturday evenings, after 6pm)
Sometimes you just need to let your hair down and party. Luckily for you, we know just the place. Housed in a stunning Grade II listed building overlooking Victoria Square, Theatrix is a bar and restaurant by day (where you can enjoy light bites and small plates) and a nightclub and entertainment venue by night (where you can dance until the early hours of the morning to disco classics, chart toppers and smash hits). To fuel your disco feet, you’ll need alcohol – and Theatrix is here to help. Serving an array of classic cocktails (some with a twist), expect to tip back a few Daiquiris, Cosmopolitans, Negronis and more, as you boogie with your mates until way past your bedtime.
IB Deal: 10% off the bill OR any small plate and a cocktail for £12
Beneath the nacho-fuelled South American diner that is Bodega Cantina lies their Sugarloaf Bar. A small, intimate bar where caipirinhas and mojitos are tipped back with reckless abandonment and the funky décor adds a carnival atmosphere to this fun-filled space. Once you’ve had your fill of burritos, nachos and Mahi-Mahi, head downstairs with your chosen companions for an evening of cocktails, music and more cocktails. It’s a bold strategy, one we’re sure will pay off. Vamos!
IB Deal: A FREE nacho platter to share when you and a friend each purchase a main dish (street food/large plates) from the menu (Sunday – Thursday).
Inspired by the Izakaya culture in Japan (an Izakaya is a type of casual bar serving alcoholic drinks and snacks, usually visited for informal after-work drinks), this cosy, neighbourhood cocktail bar is laid-back and welcoming and the drinks are sublime. The cocktail menu is focussed around seasonal, Japanese ingredients (so expect the likes of yuzu, miso and sake to feature heavily, alongside some lesser known Japanese ingredients) and features a range of beautifully balanced alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails (as well as a range of beers and soft drinks) and they specialise in Sake too. This place is a must visit for a taste of Japan in Birmingham’s suburbs.
IB Deal: 10% off the bill.
Fox & Chance
This cocktail bar boasts a prime, city centre location, conveniently located in the heart of the city for all of your cocktail drinking needs. Their tempting menu comprises both classic cocktails (with their own little twists) and a selection of original creations too. Whether you like your cocktails long, light and refreshing, short, dark and boozy, or fruity, punchy and tropical – there’s something on the menu for you. Add in a stylish but relaxed interior, friendly staff and a welcoming atmosphere like your local pub and you’ve got yourself a fabulous bar to unwind in.
IB Deal: 10% off the bill.
This brilliant pasta-cafe is by the team behind Tiger Bites Pig and Tierra (so you already know it’s incredibly awesome). They serve delicious freshly-made pasta dishes using Italian flavours and techniques but made with the finest local and British ingredients. To accompany your delicious pasta and small plates, they offer a selection of amazing cocktails, including the highly-popular and dangerously drinkable Limoncello Granita. Super refreshing, suitably boozy and incredibly moreish – you’ll be going back for seconds and thirds.
IB Deal: A FREE soft serve ice cream when you spend £10 or more (Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday)
This beautiful cocktail bar is brought to you by the team behind the fantastic zero waste supermarket The Clean Kilo. Found in The Custard Factory (where their Digbeth supermarket used to be), this stunning art-deco inspired bar is a beautiful place to enjoy a cocktail or two. True to their ethos of sustainability they have designed a zero-waste cocktail menu. From using rice paper printed passion fruit as a garnish (instead of a carbon-heavy shipped fruit) to reducing lemon and lime wastage by experimenting with citric mixes and creating homemade flavoured syrups using leftover fruit rinds – they’ve come up with clever ways to cut the waste without impacting the delicious flavours. Pop in and try some of these tasty drinks for yourself.
IB Deal: A FREE glass of sparkling wine when you pre-book a Signature Afternoon Tea OR £5 FREE credit when you top up with £20 for the Wine Wall OR 15% off all local beer/cider flights OR any hot drink and pastry/cake for just £5 (choose one deal only per visit)
The Rose Villa Tavern
JQ favourite pub, The Rose Villa Tavern, is all about the good times. And what makes good times great times? Awesome cocktails! Whether you love the classics (think Bramble, Espresso Martini, Old Fashioned and more) or you fancy trying something unique – there are lots of cocktails to choose from. They have a selection of ‘Sweet Shop’ cocktails inspired by and adorned with retro sweets (think Rhubarb & Custard, Pear Drop and Lemon Bon Bon) for a fun trip down memory lane, and if you can’t find a drink you like on the menu – just tell the bartender what you like and they’ll happily make something to your taste.
Saint Paul’s House
Located on St Paul’s Square, Jewellery Quarter, Saint Paul’s House is an independent boutique hotel, restaurant and cocktail bar worth discovering. The cocktail menu at Saint Paul’s House features some delicious sounding tipples, featuring their own spin on lots of classic cocktails alongside some concoctions of their own. However, if you can’t find a drink on the menu that takes your fancy, the team would be more than happy to make you something that does (as they like to say: have it your way).
IB Deal: 20% off food (Sunday – Thursday)
The Victoria are well-known for their extensive collection of whiskies and bourbons, but they also smash out some excellent cocktails. Choose from a selection of classics, or one of their favourite creations like Pear Necessities (Beefeater Gin, Giffard Pear Liqueur, Vanilla, Apple Juice) or Southern Belle (Southern Comfort, Peach Liqueuer, Lemon, Sugar) or go for a Whisky Old Fashioned or Manhattan made with your choice of whisky from their incredible collection. Whatever you go for, you’ll be in for a treat.
IB Deal: 10% off drinks (Sunday – Thursday)
Gas Street Social
The jewel of The Mailbox, Gas Street Social is a splendid place to catch up with friends over a cocktail or three. Complete with an outside terrace (for those rare, rare sunny days), Gas Street Social is a hub of social activity in The Mailbox and we’re here to tell you they shake up some very decent cocktails. Very decent. Grab a friend, grab a cocktail (or two) and talk about the things that matter to you in life. Catching up with friends over a cocktail is always an evening well spent.
IB Deal: A FREE cocktail, craft beer or glass of wine when purchasing any main course (Three Social Plates is equivalent to a main course) – see IB Profile for a list of drinks included in this offer.
This fun and fabulous cocktail bar is all about accessible, crowd-pleasing cocktails. The vibe is Caribbean beach-bar, there’s delicious vegan small and large plates to be enjoyed and, of course, plenty of cocktails! Think tropical drinks, plenty of rum and lots of fun. All of their cocktails are vegan-certified and mega tasty. If you’re looking for an unpretentious cocktail bar with a fun atmosphere, friendly staff and tasty drinks – this is the place for you.
IB Deal: A FREE Piña Colada (or Piña Colada mocktail) when you purchase 3 small plates or more
With a focus on seasonal British ingredients, this restaurant and bar is doing great things for both the dining and drinking scene in Birmingham. Found in the heart of the City Centre, in The ICC, this stunning restaurant, bar and garden has quickly risen in popularity thanks to the quality food and drink and the beautiful presentation and finish to the space. With outdoor dining pods making al fresco dining possible in all weathers and a beautiful garden (very Instagram worthy) this is a perfect spot for a celebration. They serve some beautiful cocktails from their swanky bar, whether that’s pre or post-dinner or just popping in for a couple of drinks in a lovely space.
IB Deal: 20% off the 4-course and 5-course set menu.
This Stirchley-based boozer is your classic British pub with a modern twist. Alongside their range of craft beer, wine, cask ale and lager, they also serve some delicious cocktails. Their cocktail menu, entitled ‘Nightshade’ is designed to entice, intoxicate and intrigue and draws upon the influence of Earth’s finest ingredients, incorporating ingredients from around the world into seriously drinkable serves. Grab a tipple, settle yourself in their sizeable beer garden and you’re winning at life.
IB Deal: £1 off cocktails
The Cuban Embassy
Moseley’s The Cuban Embassy is a vibrant tapas bar with a penchant for live music and a certain soft spot for rum – they have over 130 different bottles of it!
Authentic Cuban cocktails are the name of the game at The Cuban Embassy, and whilst your mojito may not come with crushed ice, it has been made the Havana way, the authentic way – with dark rum over large chunks of ice. From mojitos and daiquiris, to the connoisseur’s choice, the Old Fashioned, one sip of these cocktails and you’ll soon discover your long lost love for Cuba coming to the fore. Viva Cuba!
IB App Deal: 15% off food.
Ok, so you won’t be finding any fancy cocktails here, adorned with seasonal garnishes presented in coupe glasses and sipped with your little finger raised high to the sky, but they’re pretty tasty cocktails and Cherry Reds is certainly a great place to enjoy an after-work or weekend drink with your friends. The vintage-chic furniture and friendly atmosphere of this cafe-bar has made it a firm favourite of all in the know, and their laid-back cocktails offer a diverting alternative from the high-end bars. Expect a selection of ‘long’ drinks including Bloody Mary, Aperol Spritz and Long Island Iced Tea. They also have a pretty ace craft beer collection too. Just saying.
IB Deal: A free pint of cask ale, lager, cider or draught soft drink with your main meal.
A fine wine bar that serves cocktails, if you’ve not yet been to Arch 13 then you probably (*definitely*) need to drop everything you’re doing and head there right now. While their fine wine and meat/cheese boards are an utter delight, we’re going to draw your greedy eyes to their cocktail menu. Head to this ace JQ bar, plonk your bum on a chair and work your way through their select but sophisticated cocktail menu. Then buy a meat and cheese board, because it’d be rude (to your belly) not to…
IB Deal: 10% off all food + cheese and wine flights
The Prince Of Wales
The Brum-famous beer garden belonging to The Prince of Wales deserves a whole article unto itself. Unfortunately we don’t have the word count to encompass the sheer awesomeitude (no, that’s not a real word) of this brilliant pub’s brilliant beer garden. All we’re going to tell you is that there’s an ace Mo-Tiki Bar which serves up cocktails to countless thirsty Brummies on a weekly basis. They set stuff on fire and serve cocktails in anything from glass skulls to treasure chests. See you there, yeah?
IB Deal: £1 Off Cocktails At The Mo-Tiki Bar (Until 9pm)
Vietnamese Street Kitchen
This brilliant Vietnamese restaurant serves up some delicious Vietnamese street food style dishes and is a great place for a bite to eat. But did you know they also serve some brilliant cocktails? Well, you do now! On their cocktail menu you’ll find a wide selection of classics from Singapore Sling to Negroni and Bramble to Mai Tai and lots, lots more! Tasty food and tasty cocktails is a winning combination in our books!
The Dark Horse
This neighbourhood pub is more than just your traditional boozer. Whilst they do serve many classic pub drinks, they also have a selection of tasty cocktails to sip on too. Their hand crafted cocktail menu is served every day of the week and features the likes of Frozen Strawberry Daiquiris, Pornstar Martinis, Margaritas, Caipirinhas and more! We think that sounds like the makings of a great night out.
IB Deal: 15% off craft beer (please ask for a member of staff to redeem)
Henman & Cooper
Housed in an architecturally stunning building with a granite facade and imposing bay windows, this city centre-based cocktail bar certainly looks the part. Named after the beautiful building’s creators, Henman & Cooper is the perfect mix of old fashioned luxury and modern, vibrant decor. If you like your cocktails with a side of party then this is the place to go. Their rooftop is the perfect place to enjoy cocktails in the sunshine and soak up the party atmosphere. We’ll meet you there…
Grain & Glass
Think you know whisky? Whiskies are not all alike and different whiskies from different distilleries and different parts of the world each have a distinct story and flavour. At Grain & Glass, they’re confident there’s a whisky for everyone, even those who are self-professed ‘whisky haters’, they just haven’t found the right one yet. Located next to The Museum of The Jewellery Quarter, Grain & Glass is your one-stop-shop for your voyage of discovery into the wonderful world of whisky.
In the bar they have a vast and growing collection of whiskies (200+ so far) available to sample. If you prefer a cocktail, however, you can select one from the cocktail list – all of which have been designed to explore the flavours and nuances of the whiskies they are made with. Sounds delightful! (Pro tip: if you reaaallly don’t like whisky – each cocktail has an alternative spirit listed to replace the whisky).
IB Deal: The Club Old Fashioned or The Whisky Drummer for just £5 (instead of £8 – one per visit)
Digbeth’s neighbourhood bar, yard and live music venue, Mama Roux’s is a venue just buzzing with atmosphere. Forget chilled out, this a place to partayyyy. And what does every great party need? Some seriously sinkable drinks! Find a range of crowd-pleasing cocktails to get you into the party spirit at this awesome bar with all the vibes. Expect wall to wall groovers from the DJs, as well as regular live music.
IB Deal: 2 cocktails for just £10 (instead of £19 – Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday)
The Night Owl
Home of Northern Soul in Birmingham, The Night Owl is a retro club, playing all the best tunes. Whilst they’re known for their club nights, this is also a great place to grab a drink or two, surrounded by some excellent soul and retro sounds. They have some tasty, accessible cocktails on the menu – perfect for sipping as you bop along to those funky beats.
IB Deal: 2 cocktails for £10 and £1 off entry.
This cocktail bar, found in the heart of Solihull, is all about mixing up exciting drinks using the very best ingredients. Expect inventive takes on classic drinks as well as some unusual and innovative creations of their own. Pleasing on the eye, pleasing on the palate, these are some delicious drinks that will definitely have you coming back for more. This is a friendly, table-service bar doing cocktails the right way.
The Loft Bar & Kitchen
The Loft is a firm favourite found in Birmingham’s Southside District where great cocktails can be found. Choose between cheekily-named cocktail delights such as the ‘Suck & Swallow’, ‘”What’s The Worst That Could Happen?”’ and ‘Ri Ri’s Rum Punch’ and your evening is already getting off to one heck of a start. They even have a cocktail served in a bright red American-style frat party cup, which increases the fun level of this drink by a factor of 10. We recommend you drink many.
Oktogon, in Knowle, is known primarily for their wide selection of gins, but they also shake some fantastic cocktails. Their cocktail list primarily features a range of delicious classics – everything from Margaritas to Mimosas. However, they also have some more adventurous concoctions on the menu such as their Rhubarb Mojito or their Battenberg Martini. This Scandinavian inspired bar is a chic setting for a tipple or two with pals.
Classic cocktails are classic for good reason – they never go out of style. If you love the classics, head to Esabella’s in Solihull to enjoy their delicious take on all of the best cocktails. From Negronis to Cosmopolitans and Mojitos to Porn Star Martinis, you can enjoy all of your favourites in this sophisticated cocktail bar and restaurant.
Best Of The Rest
Whilst the above bars all have excellent cocktail menus, you can also enjoy some delicious drinks in other venues across the city, including some of our fabulous restaurants who don’t have a dedicated bar area, but do have fantastic cocktails to enjoy with your meal. The following places also deserve an honourable mention for their cocktails, and are each worthy of exploring in their own right:
The Wilderness, Zindiya, Atelier, The Pig & Tail, Harborne Kitchen, The Plough, Dropshot, The Village, Hare And Hounds, Sobremesa, The Barber House, The Floodgate, Stir Stores.
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